Earlier this year I had the opportunity to cross off one item from my “Bucket List” and that was to take a journey aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Napa Valley Wine Train is a privately operated excursion train that offers a leisurely journey through the beautiful wine country of Napa Valley in meticulously restored vintage rail cars from 1915-1917. During the 3-hour-long trip between Napa and St. Helena, passengers can choose to enjoy a gourmet meal prepared on board paired with several of the region’s wines.
I know what you are thinking, a 3-hour journey, a gourmet meal and gluten intolerance can be a nasty combination! Fortunately, the folks at the Napa Valley Wine Train are very accommodating to those of us with food allergies. If you discuss your gluten issues with the reservations agent at the time of your booking you will not have to worry about accidentally being glutened during your trip. The kitchen staff is very well versed on food allergies. As a matter of fact, I learned that the Executive Chef, Kelly Macdonald wrote his thesis on gluten intolerance when he was preparing to graduate from culinary school.
On the day of our journey, we were greeted by a delicious glass of complimentary wine upon boarding the train followed by a plate of delectable appetizers consisting of fruit, various cheeses and gourmet breads. My plate was specially prepared utilizing the most amazing gluten-free crackers I have ever tasted and I am still trying to find in retail markets today. Additionally, care was taken in ensuring that there were no items on my plate which would conflict with my specific Type B Blood Type Diet.
When the time came for us to be seated for lunch, we were assigned a specific waitress who catered to our every need. My beef was prepared using a special gluten-free sauce accompanied by vegetables and cheese. For dessert I enjoyed the creme brulee with fresh fruit accompanied by a cup of very aromatic coffee. And of course, my red wine was gluten-free!
The 3 hours passed by quickly as we enjoyed the scenery, great food and good conversation. I would highly recommend this excursion to those of you who enjoy gourmet meals paired with great wines. It will be a safe and enjoyable outing if you take a few minutes to plan and prepare ahead of time, as we all know by now.
To read more about California Wine Country visit: http://traveldreamscapes.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/california-wine-country/